DARTMOUTH, Mass. -- The Mitchell College men's basketball team suffered an 89-72 setback to host UMass Dartmouth in the championship game of the 21st Annual Lafrance Hospitality Tournament on Saturday afternoon at the Tripp Athletic Center.
UMass Dartmouth's Arinze Obiora earned tournament Most Valuable Player honors after notching a double-double effort of 23 points and 15 rebounds. Domenico Santiago paced Mitchell with a double-double of 21 points and 16 rebounds and also earned a spot on the all-tournament team.
The host Corsairs (2-2 overall) scored 12 of the game's first 16 points and built an early 22-12 advantage. After the visiting Mariners (1-1 overall) sliced that margin to six with just over 11 minutes to play in the first half, UMass Dartmouth used a closing 26-11 run fueled by Obiora's 14 points and eight caroms to take a 48-27 lead at the break.
A three-pointer by Atakan Akcam just 2:22 into the second half staked the hosts to the largest advantage (57-32) of the day, but Mitchell battled back with a 25-10 run in less than eight minutes to creep back to within 10 (67-57) on Malik Chase's conventional three-point play with 9:37 remaining. Akcam, Obiora and Marcus Azor combined to spark a decisive 14-4 Corsair run that yielded an 81-59 lead with 4:56 to play, as the hosts built that margin to as much as 24 points in the closing minutes.
Akcam finished with 16 points, five assists and three rebounds for the winners, who received 14 points (including four three-pointers) and three steals from Jake Ashworth. Azor rounded out the Corsair quartet in double figures with 13 points, six boards and four steals, while Marquis Jones collected seven points, seven boards and three assists. Sean Leahy grabbed five rebounds on the afternoon for UMass Dartmouth, which shot 40 percent (29-72) from the field and canned seven three-pointers while holding a slim 47-46 rebounding edge for the contest.
In addition to Santiago's double-double, Mitchell received 11 points, seven boards and four assists from Matt Finke. Steffen Brunson added nine points, five caroms and three assists while Hasani Williams chipped in eight points. The visitors shot 44 percent (32-72) from the field and scored 23 points off turnovers on the day, as the Corsairs held a 24-6 scoring advantage at the foul line.
Mitchell will next play at Albertus Magnus College on Sunday, November 25 at 3 p.m.